How honey is produced

From the Flower to the Jar - Taking the honey off

The honey bee collects nectar from flowers and will ripen it into honey. As the bees produce and store more honey, the beekeeper adds additional storage space so maximising the production of honey. The added boxes are known as supers and contain (in this case) 8 honey comb frames. Other countries around the world and states of Australia use 10 frame supers. The more frames the heavier the box to lift, an 8 frame box when full weighs about 25kg. Some beekeepers prefer to use ½ depth supers.

When the bees have filled and sealed each cell of the frames with a beeswax cap, the super and frames are removed from the hive and the honey extracted. The boxes and frames can be reused many times, making honey production environmentally friendly.

The process of removing the bees from the frames varies. Beekeepers can use bee escape boards, a bee brush, bee blowers or simply shaking each frame individually. The use of fume boards (a bee repellent) is illegal in some countries, including Australia. The chemicals used are absorbed into the honey. Once free from bees, the super is loaded onto a vehicle for transportation back to the honey processing shed.

Honeycomb from a beehive